We became fans of the Honda CB1100 when it first arrived on U.S. shores in 2013. It’s mix of old-school cool and new-school technology is a refreshing change from the hyper-focused sportbikes and streetfighters that surround us. Four years on, however, and Honda decided it was time for a few choice upgrades.
So, during Intermot 2016, Honda revealed two new CB1100 models – the RS and EX – the latter of which Honda has announced will be sold Stateside. You can get the full rundown of the differences by clicking on the link, but the main talking points are a seamless fuel tank, LED lights front and rear, revised geometry and suspension tweaks, 18-inch wire-spoked wheels, and a slipper clutch.
Honda has not released pricing information about the CB1100 EX, but says the bike will be available May 2017, in this, the Candy Red colorway. We can’t wait to throw a leg over it once it arrives, but in the meantime, below is the official press release from Honda.
Since 1959, when they first adorned the twin-cylinder CB92 Benly, the letters CB have always meant a great deal to Honda and Honda owners. They came to mean even more in 1969, as the four-cylinder CB750 represented a seminal moment for motorcycling, as the world’s first production superbike took center stage, laying down a blueprint that still stands today.
Old school became new school in 2013, when Honda brought the CB1100 to the U.S., satisfying pent-up demand from an army of riders for whom a traditionally styled air-cooled four-cylinder CB was a must-have piece of engineering craftsmanship. For 2017, the CB1100 EX has been imbued with extra layers of retro style and several performance upgrades. Manufacture takes place in Honda’s Kumamoto factory, with a production process that’s been fundamentally revised to integrate technology and expert skill in order to create motorcycles rich in craftsmanship and attention to detail, plus a place in history that only comes with the passage of many decades.
“As with past CBs, we understand the timeless pleasure that our customers get from owning and riding an air-cooled inline four-cylinder motorcycle,” said Mr. Mitsunobu Imada, Large Project Leader for the 2017 CB1100 EX. “Building on the CB1100’s desirability and joy of ownership, while adding functionality and quality to deepen the sense of fulfillment, were very important elements for us to consider. With the CB1100 EX, we hope many riders get to appreciate and understand a very traditional motorcycle structure.”
The CB1100 EX outlines the proportion and silhouette of a true 1970s superbike. Its curvaceous fuel tank, which now has a seamless design, evokes handmade craftsmanship, while the single round headlight and twin instrument dials denote Hondas from a bygone age. Adding crisp-edged modernity, the front and rear lights are now LED and new 18-inch wheels run stainless steel spokes. The classic tubular-steel frame has relaxed steering geometry, sure-footed stability and neutral handling characteristics. The 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork (SDBV) and twin Showa shocks offer improved suspension compliance, and ABS brakes are standard. The subtly blacked-out engine breathes more easily thanks to revised inlets and smaller, lighter dual chrome mufflers, producing linear, instantly accessible power and torque. An assist slipper clutch makes for easier lever engagement and rear-wheel stability on downshifts. With its classic lines, the CB1100 EX conjures memories, mixing the engine’s addictive performance and soulful sound with evocative appeal. It’s also a machine to savor and contemplate from every angle.